*The experience was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own
I am a huge fan of Afternoon Tea and me and my friend try to go as often as we can when we have London days, or when our stomachs will allow us. The Dorchester is one of the most famous hotels near Mayfair and of course they do their own afternoon tea which you can take in the Promenade restaurant. When an email landed in my box to join a blogger event in the hotel and get afternoon tea I jumped at the chance because it’s not everyday that you can put on your gladrags and go for a more upmarket afternoon tea.
The afternoon tea is quintessentially British and has everything you’d expect from a selection of sandwiches, scones with all the trimmings, cakes and pastries accompanied by plenty of tea. One thing which the restaurant do is change up the menu by season so the menu which I had was on until the end of November when they switch into the festive menu which means no two trips are the same.
The second you step foot into The Dorchester it’s like stepping into another world and I was glad that I’d opted for a dress and not my usual jeans and band tshirt attire. From the marble columns and huge displays of flowers of the foyer through to the huge comfortable chairs and live pianist in The Promenade restaurant. Once we were sat at our seats it was time to choose some tea from the huge menu, I was seriously tempted by my fail safe peppermint but decided to push the boat out and go for ‘Tropical Punch’ which was so fresh and fruity full of pineapple, mango, passion fruit, banana and orange that I found myself drinking more cups than I’ve ever had tea before.
We were also given some flowering tea which was placed on the table as we sat down to be used as a palette cleanser between the sandwiches and the sweet treats. I’d seen flowering tea on a recent Sorted YouTube video but it was something I’d never seen at an afternoon tea before. Before long it was time for the sandwiches which were very traditional including cream cheese and cucumber, coronation chicken, ham and mustard, devilled eggs and prawn cocktail. Normally I get through afternoon tea sandwiches very quickly but these ones seemed to be never ending, so much so that none of us needed to ask for seconds.
One of the great things about The Dorchester was that we didn’t feel rushed, after arriving at 1pm by 2.30pm we hadn’t even had our scones. Time had flown, we’d eaten loads but no one made us feel like we needed to finish up which was a great feeling, and one which is quite unusual in afternoon tea. Next up were warm scones served with strawberry and another seasonal jam and clotted cream and the age old debate of what comes first cream or jam, my vote always goes to cream first!
The scones were so soft and fresh that I even had a second of the plain scone as it was so tasty although I didn’t really need it as the sweets were pretty filling. We had a choux pastry with chestnuts and pear, a lemon cake with quince jam, a fig jelly with shortbread and then a chocolate based pastry. When the pastries and cakes were settled on my plate I had an idea of which would be my favourite but the tastes surprised me and the fig jelly dessert was a winner for me.
Almost three hours after we first sat down the last plates were cleared up and it was time to roll out of our seats and head back into the real world. For a short few hours it was like being in food heaven and I’m already tempted to try and make a trip there at Christmas.
Do you enjoy afternoon tea?